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Archive for April 16th, 2007

‘Harmless’ snake proves deadly

Posted by Miqe on April 16, 2007

A whip snake, which is normally considered no more harmless than a bee sting.
Photo: Supplied

Friends of a reptile enthusiast who died after being bitten by a snake have expressed their shock that a man who knew snakes so well had been killed by a species generally regarded as harmless.

Ron Siggins, 37, of Pascoe Vale, died yesterday afternoon after being bitten by a whip snake at Harcourt North, 120km north west of Melbourne.

Mr Siggins was collecting scorpions with a friend at Mt Alexander about 2.30 pm when he was bitten on the finger by the snake.

He bandaged his finger with a handkerchief, but later became woozy and his friend went to his car to call an ambulance.

When the friend returned a few minutes later, the 37-year-old had collapsed.

Mr Siggins had gone into cardio arrest by the time paramedics arrived. They were unable to revive him.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner in relation to the man’s death.
Mr Siggins caught the snake that had bitten Mr Siggins.

Bite ‘like a bee sting’

The snake was later identified as a whip snake, a species which is considered harmless in comparison to more venomous species such as brown snakes and tiger snakes.

“You read any reptile book, they’re classified as harmless, it’s like a bee sting,” said Steve Macgregor, a reptile enthusiast and friend of Mr Siggins.

While the exact circumstances of Mr Siggins’ death remain unclear, it is believed he may have experienced complications as a result of medication he was taking for neck and spinal injuries.

Friends said he had been bitten by whip snakes in the past. 

“Probably what happened is he knows they’re not that deadly, he’s been bitten by it and didn’t think much of it,” Mr Macgregor said.

Community ‘devastated’

Another friend, Sheryl Longstaff, said Victoria’s community of  herpetologists could not believe what had happened to Mr Siggins, who had been around snakes for 30 years.

“It’s a shock to the system … everybody’s devastated,” she told

“Ron’s got venomous and non-venomous snakes at home, he knows what he’s doing, he knows how to handle them,” she said.

“He’s got bitten by something that would normally just make you feel a bit sick and give you a bit of a headache but he’s had a reaction to it.”

Mr Siggins leaves behind a wife, Helen, and school age daughters Emily and Stephanie.

Ms Longstaff said the community of reptile enthusiasts would rally around Mrs Siggins and the children.

“She’s going to need a lot of help. She’s got  a lot of grieving to go through,” she said.

Snake catcher Raymond Hoser said people should not fear snakes.

“All the deaths from snake bite in Australia in the past year have actually been people catching them or killing them,” he said.

Provided you do neither of the above, you’ve got basically no chance of dying from snake bite.”

From The Age

Posted in Herps in the news, International articles and news. | 2 Comments »

Man dies from snake bite in popular picnic area

Posted by Miqe on April 16, 2007

A 38-year-old man has died after he was bitten by a snake near Castlemaine in central Victoria.

The man was at a popular walking and picnic area at Mt Alexander when he was bitten just before 3pm AEST.

Rural Ambulance spokesman John Mullins says it is not clear what type of snake was involved.

“When our paramedics arrived the man wasn’t breathing, they attempted to revive him, but he’s gone into cardiac arrest and they were unable to revive him,” he said.

“He died at the scene.”

From ABC

Posted in Herps in the news, International articles and news. | 3 Comments »

Hospital Visit and Medical Care Essential in Treatment of Snake

Posted by Miqe on April 16, 2007

Each year, thousands of people are bitten by venomous snakes. Avoiding snakes and avoiding provoking snakes are obviously the best ways to prevent getting bitten. There are many things that you can do to help keep from being bitten. If you are bitten, your top priority should be getting medical attention at a hospital as soon as possible. While waiting for medical attention, you can also do some things at home to keep the snake bite bite clean, keep the swelling down and help in the successful treatment of the bite.

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